A wry and life-affirming novel from the internationally best-selling author.
Marian Keyes's inimitable blend of rollicking humor, effervescent prose, and stories that deal with real-life issues have captivated readers and listeners around the globe. She is one of the best-selling authors of women's fiction in the English-speaking world. Her new novel will delight fans of Candace Bushnell's darkly comic sensibility and Sophie Kinsella's fast-paced action.
The Brightest Star in the Sky follows seven neighbors whose lives become entangled when a sassy and prescient spirit pays a visit to their Dublin townhouse with the intent of changing at least one of their lives. But what will this metamorphosis be and who will the sprite choose?
There's Matt and Maeve, the newlyweds struggling to overcome the first obstacle in their storybook romance; Lydia, the brassy but vulnerable cabbie; Katie, the just-turned-40 PR executive searching for a more gratifying life; and the eldest resident, Jemima, currently playing hostess to her son Fionn, who is in town to star as the hunky gardener in a hot new television show.
Keyes's universal themes and appealing characters have made her an international phenomenon, and are sure to conquer a wider American audience. With The Brightest Star in the Sky, she delivers another satisfying story charming in its wit and surprising in its depth.
In a vast departure from her typical work centering around one central female protagonist, Marian Keyes introduces an ensemble cast of characters in her latest novel as well as a spiritual entity who tells their tales (captured by Caitriona Keyes’ sing-song voice). Each chapter follows the life of a different member of the motley crew, who all live in the same apartment building in Ireland 66 Star Street but don’t socialize and have no other apparent connection to each other. Matt and Maeve are mismatched, but very in love newlyweds. Katie’s a 40-something publicist for rock musicians and still trying to find some direction. Lydia is an intimidating, crass cab driver roommate to two Polish men. And Jemima is a lonely elderly woman whose source of greatest happiness stems from her adopted son Fionn coming to live with her. The ethereal being (the story’s raconteur) has the ability to float in and out of each apartment and watch all the stories at 66 Star Street unfold unbeknownst to the people living there.
Caitriona Keyes, the author’s sister, narrates the novel with her matronly, Irish accent. It gives the sense that the ethereal being is more of a watchful grandmother, than a young, hip angel. At times, it’s quite strange to hear her ultra-feminine voice describe the thoughts of the Polish men or Katie’s drunken binge on her birthday. But her words are clearly spoken and her pace and comedic timing are on point. Listeners sensitive to a higher-pitched tone might find her lilting voice less than pleasant for the entire 11-hour haul.
Fans of Marian Keyes will be surprised by this new style of storytelling, but pleased that her characteristic self-deprecating humor and ability to keep the listener engaged throughout the entire book remains. Colleen Oakley
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Terrible sound quality, worse narration
Another Awesome book by Ms. Keyes
- Ann M Barnes